Remain Calm: Kissing Bugs Are Not Invading The US

Authored by Gwen Pearson. This article was first appeared on WIRED, 12.03.15.

CHILL. KISSING BUGS ARE not invading North America. They’ve been here for at least 12,000 years, probably longer. The link between Chagas disease and kissing bugs (Triatoma) is real, and Chagas disease is a serious, untreatable disease you do not want to acquire. But nothing other than a recent burst of media attention is, well, news.

I talked to Dr. Sue Montgomery, leader of the epidemiology team in the CDC Parasitic Diseases Branch, as well as some key US researchers on Chagas disease. I also checked with several Insect Diagnostic Clinics around the US. Everyone agreed: There is no evidence that new infections of Chagas are increasing in the US, or that the insects that transmit the disease have increased or changed their range. The disease itself is extremely rare; fewer than 40 human infections have occurred in the US since 1955. Continue reading

Summit of the Americas on the Aedes aegypti Crisis

This one-day summit will be the first of many large-scale international meetings of the Grand Challenges initiative. It will be held during the Joint Meeting of the Brazilian Congress of Entomology and the Latin American Congress of Entomology.

As two of the largest insect-science societies in the world, the Entomological Society of America (ESA) and the Sociedade Entomológica do Brasil (SEB) are convening leading scientific, business, and NGO experts and leaders to map out a plan for successfully managing the Aedes aegypti mosquito, an insect that is a vector of Zika virus, yellow fever, dengue, and chikungunya and that is causing serious public health crises across the hemisphere. Continue reading

EPA will clarify ingredients in minimum-risk pesticides

The Environmental Protection Agency has published a rule to clarify the substances on the minimum risk pesticide ingredient list and the way ingredients are identified on product labels. Minimum risk pesticides are a special class of pesticides that are not required to be registered with EPA because their ingredients, both active and inert, pose little to no risk to human health or the environment. The Agency is reorganizing these lists and adding specific chemical identifiers to make clearer to manufacturers, the public, and federal, state, and tribal inspectors the specific ingredients that are permitted in minimum risk pesticide products. EPA is also requiring producer contact information and the use of specific common chemical names in lists of ingredients on minimum risk pesticide product labels.  Continue reading

Is IPM dead or different?

This story, in Corn and Soybean Digest, looks closely at the difference between current practices and actual integrated pest management. The article is by  of Corn and Soybean Digest and is unedited.

When introduced in 1959, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) was hailed as the answer to environmental, worker safety and grower-cost concerns with over-use of crop protection chemicals. With widespread use of traits, seed treatments, fungicide and insecticide treatments designed to prevent potential pest problems, IPM would appear to be dead. Certainly the idea of scouting for economic thresholds before treating seems less appreciated than any time in IPMs 56-year history. Continue reading

Natural Resources Conservation Service providing money to deal with feral hogs in Alabama

In Southeast Farm Press

Farmers in 18 Alabama counties have until Feb. 19 to apply for financial assistance to monitor and manage feral swine on their property.

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service State Conservationist Ben Malone said $100,000 is being made available for Alabama’s Wild Pig Damage Management Program under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Continue reading

Research Internship: African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD)


There is wide agreement globally that gender responsiveness is critical for Africa to achieve the transformation that is so desperately needed for food and nutrition security. For example, Sustainable Development Goal No. 5 focuses on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, which includes ensuring women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life. The African Union (AU) has declared 2015 the Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development. Continue reading

New herbicides won’t be coming around soon

From Southeast Farm Press

By Stanley Culpepper and William Vencill, UGA weed scientists

Ever wonder why weed scientists are so aggressive about protecting herbicide chemistry?  Growers are constantly being told to protect the chemistry available today because who knows when, or if, they will get anymore. But why is that? In short, any new chemistry would have to be ‘the perfect herbicide.’

But let’s say we want to try to bring new chemistry to the farm today and make that perfect herbicide. What do we need to do? Continue reading